UN chief says he is seeking 2nd term

Updated: 2011-06-07 07:47
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UNITED NATIONS - Ban Ki-moon formally asked members of the United Nations on Monday to support his candidacy for a second five-year term as UN secretary-general -- a goal he looks almost certain to achieve.

UN chief says he is seeking 2nd term

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva in this May 11, 2011 file photo.[Photo/Agencies]

Ban, 66, a former South Korean foreign minister, already had assurances of support from the United States and other key members of the UN Security Council, diplomats said in March.

Ban's first term ends on December 31. He is unopposed for re-election so far.

"As I approach the end of my term of office as the secretary-general of the United Nations, I am humbly submitting my name for the consideration of the members of the Security Council for a second term," said Ban's letter to Gabon's UN ambassador, Nelson Messone, this month's council president.

He sent a similar request for support to the 192-nation General Assembly.

In the letter to Messone, Ban said he and the 15-nation council had "found common ground on critical global issues of peace and security - from Somalia to Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East and far beyond."

"I am proud of all we have done together, even as I am mindful of the formidable challenges ahead," he wrote.

Speaking to reporters at UN headquarters, Ban cited his push to make climate change a top concern for governments as one of his major accomplishments since he took the helm of the world body in January 2007.

On his watch, he said, the United Nations "responded quickly and effectively to a series of devastating humanitarian emergencies" in Myanmar, Haiti, Pakistan and elsewhere. Ban said his team also worked to keep attention on the world's poorest people during the global economic crisis.

Officially, UN secretaries-general are elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. Ban's formal re-election process should be over by the end of June, UN diplomats said.

France backed a second term for Ban, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in a statement. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington welcomed Ban's announcement but did not say whether it would vote for him.

"The UN faces an array of daunting challenges and we have worked constructively with Secretary-General Ban on many of them," he said. "We will have more to say in the coming days."

Chinese UN envoy Li Baodong told reporters the Asia Group endorsed Ban's candidacy, adding he has demonstrated "strong leadership" and shown he is a "person of action."

Ban's understated approach and less-than-perfect English set him apart from his more outspoken predecessor, Kofi Annan, who ran afoul of the administration of then-US President George W. Bush for declaring the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq "illegal."